Locus Focus

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with local, regional and national experts, activists and policy makers about climate change, food policy, land use, salmon restoration, forest management and all the other things that matter in our environment.

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Episode Archive

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 02/04/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Is the Democratic plan for economic stimulus ambitious enough and why do the Republicans hate it so

 

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with John Cavanagh with the Institute for Policy Studies about the ins and outs of Barack Obama's economic stimulus package. What is progressive about the proposal, where could it go further and why does it upset the Republicans so much.

 

 

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 01/28/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Sellwood neighborhood activists talk about the options on the table for a new Sellwood Bridge

The Sellwood Bridge is in desperate need of repair or replacement. After a long process, a final decision is due soon on a new bridge's alignment and design. In recent weeks this process has become contentious because two groups are being pitted against one another. A group of condo owners who live on either side of the bridge have been aggressively supporting an alignment that would move the bridge a block or more north, saving their property from demolition but having major impacts on other parts of the neighborhood.

Locus Focus

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 01/21/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
We talk about the promises Barack Obama made in his inaugural address and how we hold him to them.

The day after Barack Obama's historic inauguration as president of the United States we'll look at how much has changed in the United States and what still needs to change in the days, months and years ahead. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by guests John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Ajamu Barakaexecutive director of the US Human Rights Network.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
The Last Week of Bush

A look back at the worst 8 years of our life and a look ahead into what we hope will be a better future. Guest Barbara Dudley and Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein explore several themes as we we look forward to Barack Obama's inauguration next week: What are you looking forward to in the Obama administration? What do you fear will or will not happen? What opportunities now exist that have been suppressed for so long to make what we have been working for a reality? What are the challenges that face us? What does it mean to bring everyone to the table as Obama claims he wants to do?

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 01/07/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Is climate change the culprit for our recent spate of extreme weather?

 

 

Andrew Rice, assistant professor of physics at Portland State University, talks with Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein about the weather. Especially the recent stretch of cold, snow and flooding that has shaped the past few weeks. Is climate change the culprit? Should cities in the lower Willamette Valley start investing in more snow removal equipment. Dr. Rice answers these and any of your weather-related questions.

 

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 12/31/2008 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
We celebrate the end/beginning of the year with a program about the new mural is rising above Oaks B

A new mural is rising above the wetlands of Oaks Bottom. The largest public art project in Portland is beginning to adorn the walls of Portland Memorial that face the Bottoms. By next spring this former eyesore of weirdness will become an artistic reflection of the diversity of nature that abounds in Portland's singular city-owned wildlife refuge.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 12/24/2008 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A cross-generational look back at 2008 and look ahead at 2009

What opportunities and challenges have the events of 2008 created for us in the coming year? Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by two college students - Justin Ralls and Ted Sweeney, whom she recently met at a Sellwood cafe - for a cross-generational conversation about how we create social movements for change in the current climate. How are these times similar to another crossroads era, the 1960s, yet how are they significantly different? This program continues the coffehouse conversation and opens it up to KBOO's listeners.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 12/17/2008 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A critique of Barack Obama's recently announced environment and energy cabinet nominations; Is Georg

At 8 AM Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by writer and activist Harvey Wasserman to critique Barack Obama's recent nominations for cabinet positions related to energy and the environment. At 8:30 Raed Jarrar, Iraq Consultant for the American Friends Service Committee, discusses the fallout from GW Bush's trip to Iraq this past weekend, and how the hurling of a pair of shoes at the president by Iraqi journalist Montather al-Zeidi, is resonating throughout the Arab world.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 12/10/2008 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
The Bush administration continues issuing midnight regulations that will help destroy the earth as w

The Bush administration continues issuing midnight regulations that will help destroy the earth as we know it. This past week they issued a new rule that loosens restrictions on how mountaintop removal is regulated by reducing the required buffer zones from streams and making it easier for mining companies to dump tailings into rivers and creeks. Mine safety & health and environmental specialist Jack Spadaro will be the guest for this discussion on what is mountaintop removal mining, why it threatens both human and wildlife in the appalachians and what is being done to try to stop it.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 12/03/2008 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
As Bush leaves office he is trying to issue a number of last minute regulations to gut environmental

Heidi McIntosh, associate director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, discusses the impact that some of Bush's midnight regulations could have on pristine and remote areas in southeastern Utah (which are among host Barbara Bernstein's favorite spots in the world).

 

Comments

Global Warming

Barbara, I hope you might forward my comments to your guest. I was only able to listen to part of today's program but I am very interested. I want to raise my concerns about two prevailing frames that arise on your show and throughout serious discussion of climate change that I believe do great damage to the efforts to raise the awareness of the public and help them understand the urgency needed when addressing this issue.
First is the frame that global warming is happening slowly and will continue to do so. I do not believe the facts support such an assertion and not only does no one know that warming will not suddenly serge forward it seems to be doing exactly that. A report out last week raised the projected temperature for the planet by the end of the century to 9F from 4F degrees. That means that we are going to hit 4F by---2040? Until recently no one imagined the arctic ice cap could melt in anything like our lifetimes but in fact it will and it may do so as soon as 2013! The problem with the frames that give people the impression that GW is a slow process is that it provides fauls comfort, "Oh, technology will fix it before it happens," or "It is not my problem." Neither one is the case but too many people still think that way. So please start using a different frame from "by the end of the century," or “future generations." Instead say "within our life times," and stress the urgency. After all it is much more accurate to say catastrophic climate change is happening right now.

The second frame is that one cannot attribute any given weather event to global warming. That is only partly true. In fact one might say that you cannot not attribute any given weather event to climate change such is the post-industrial influence on the pre-industrial trajectory of the climate---we have departed the Holocene and are in the Antropocene some scientist tell us. It is like a basketball launched toward a basket that gets tipped by one of the players. Its trajectory is for ever changed. I think it is more accurate to say that the weather everywhere and everyday has been influence to some degree by GW. This is important because the frame that one cannot tell if an event is caused by climate change is asking them not to believe there own "eyes," experiences, or impressions which are often very astute. For instance in Oklahoma where I grew up we used to have thunderstorms in April and the 100F days did not come until late July. This year they had wild fires near Oklahoma City in April and the temperatures have been in the hundreds throughout much of this June---that has increasingly become the trend and is consistent with climate change projections. Now Oklahomans should by all rights believe that what they are experiencing is in fact global warming. It may be noted that Inhofe is a Senator from Oklahoma and one of the most radical global warming deniers and obstructionist in government.
I have been keeping up with this issue for a long time now and am alarmed at the rapidity that things are taking place. I truly believe we are probably in for crop failures, water shortages, and mass migrations here in North America, in this country, within our lifetimes and whereas I think there is a fine line to be drawn to not panic or send people into despair I think scientist tend to be much too measured in their statements. It is as though there is smoke billowing out of the projection room and the scientists don’t want be caught dead yelling fire in a crowded theater because there is no "proof" that there is in fact a fire.
Scientist have long dismissed the near term risk of a methane/co2 release from the arctic or the ocean meanwhile there is growing indications that that is exactly what is happening. As a NASA scientist you should know that a huge methane release was detected on Mars a few years ago and that is within a much more static system than ours----that should give us pause!
The public needs to be prepared in case there is a sudden spike in methane from the Arctic so I hope in the future Barbara you will direct your discussions of climate change toward the rapidity of changes already taking place and the potential danger of being too complacent and smug about what we know and what we think we do or do not know. Thank you.

Global Warming

I recently interviewed Phil Mote who has replaced climate change denier George Taylor as Oregon's State Climatologist. Like any careful scientist Mote does not feel comfortable attributing specific weather events to climate change. But he gave me a analogy that I like: It's like playing Russian Roulette and adding a second bullet to the chamber of the revolver. If you blow your head off it doesn't really matter whether it was the original bullet or added bullet that did you in.

Solar Energy

I echo Bruce's concerns and add commentary based on  Mon - 14 - Sep show.

While I support solar energy, I warn against pie-in-the-sky proposals that make it sound like we can find new sources to keep living our wasteful lives. The scale of the problem is lost when we pretend that putting solar panels on 100 roofs signifies real change.

There is some hope to be found in using solar power efficiently. This does NOT include powering electric resistance heaters with photovoltaics. It does mean passive solar heating, solar hot water, and solar clothes driers (AKA clotheslines).

When you have used conservation and innovation to convert the wasteful electric grid into a sustainable system, then we can begin the conversation about supplimenting the system for our transportation problems. Until then, the only real sustainable alternatives to petroleum are wind, human, and animal powered vehicles. Coal and nuclear, the primary sources of new electricity, are polluting uses of nonrenewable resources.

Walk, ride a bicycle, sail (without motor), and use horse and ox cart, if you are truly concerned about the serious threat of climate change. Park your car forever. We cannot afford cars any longer.

- Vernon Huffman

   Corvallis, OR

today's show & "socialism"

i think now is a good time to talk more about what socialism actually is - common ownership of the means of production - and what is is not - redistributing wealth. you are right to continue pointing out that what obama is talking about is a progressive tax structure, not socialism.

the progressive tax idea actually comes from adam smith himself, "It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion." [from book 5, ch.2 on taxes]

Intro Music

The intro music to Locus Focus is a song by Hugh Masakela called "Change." It's on his album "Time," which came out a few years ago. I plan on playing the song each week until Robert Mugabe relinquishes power in Zimbabwe.

brain gender

Did you see the piece in the NY Times re schizophrenia and autism having possible roots in parental dna - that is mother mix:father's mix? That is female characteristics manifesting as schizophrenia from mother dna and autistic characteristics from father's?

 

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